A man has been slapped with a suspended jail sentence after he sent abusive and “highly personal” messages attacking a south London MP – and demanded she cancel his driving fine.
The court heard that Florence Eshalomi, who is the Labour MP for Vauxhall and a former columnist for the News when she was London Assembly member for Southwark and Lambeth, was made to fear for her safety when she received a series of “offensive” emails from Brixton resident Brian Haven, 59, between December 2020 and February this year.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Haven made “baseless accusations” including claiming that Ms Eshalomi was colluding with property developers and blamed her for the low traffic neighbourhood in his area. He demanded that she get fines given to people who broke LTN rules rescinded, adding “I am not here to debate.”
Haven, aged 59, (11/3/1962) pleaded guilty to harassment and was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for eighteen months. He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, pay £500 in compensation to Ms Eshalomi and handed a restraining order prohibiting him from directly or indirectly contacting the victim for five years.
Michael Phillips, from the CPS’ south London unit, said: “These emails contained highly personal attacks focused on the physical appearance and character of an elected Member of Parliament. They were abusive, offensive and amounted to harassment.
“Haven’s actions made the victim feel worried about her personal safety and left her distressed.
“During police interview Haven admitted to sending the emails and claimed he had done so after getting wound up listening to talk shows on the radio through lockdown.
“Nobody should be subjected to such vile behaviour for carrying out their civic duty and the CPS will always aim to prosecute offenders who target elected individuals where there is the evidence to do so.”